Putin to support Iran Six policy on Tehran - FM Lavrov -1

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will back the shared position of the six international mediators on Iran's nuclear program during his visit to Tehran next week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
(Adds Lavrov's quotes, details, background after para. 1)

MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will back the shared position of the six international mediators on Iran's nuclear program during his visit to Tehran next week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"President Putin stressed during today's morning meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and [Defense Secretary] Robert Gates that in the course of his visit to Iran he would continue the current line of work with the Iranian leadership, which reflects the collective position of the [Iran] Six and the UN Security Council," Lavrov said.

The six nations involved in talks to persuade Iran to drop uranium enrichment are China, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The U.S. and France have urged for tougher penalties against Iran.

In mid-September, the six countries delayed a vote on a new set of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, now set to be held by November. The vote was put off pending reports from the IAEA, and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

The Russian foreign minister also said that Russia is against unilateral sanctions against Tehran, wants the Iranian issue to be resolved through collective efforts.

"We believe that this collective work could have been more effective if there were no parallel steps on unilateral sanctions against Iran, not to mention regular calls for military force against the country," the diplomat said.

Since talks early this summer between Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, Tehran has allowed two inspections of its 40-MW heavy water nuclear reactor in Arak, which is potentially capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. Iran had earlier refused to grant access to the site following the second set of international sanctions in March.

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